Iran's Justice Minister ‘booed’ because of his human rights record

Photo for Alireza Avaei, Minister of Justice of Iran attending the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb 27, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 27 February 2018
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Iran's Justice Minister ‘booed’ because of his human rights record

GENEVA: The participation of Iranian Justice Minister Alireza Avayi in the meetings of Human Rights Council in Brussels has triggered wide-spread loud diplomatic and human rights objections.
In a statement, the US delegation to the United Nations disclosed that it feels terrified at Avai’s presence at the session, citing that, at the end of the 1980s, Avayi had overseen execution operations against innocent Iranians.
The US delegation said that Avayi, in his current capacity as justice minister, oversees arbitrary arrests, detentions of Iranian political, human rights activists in the political, and rights fields, adding that he is detaining Iranians in death cells where they are tortured and deprived of medical care.
Organizations of Iranians overseas arranged here today demonstrations at the EU headquarters in the UN, calling for the prosecution of the Iranian justice minister for committing grave violations and crimes of human rights.


New Quebec law stresses migrants’ skills, thousands must reapply

Updated 18 min 53 sec ago
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New Quebec law stresses migrants’ skills, thousands must reapply

  • The law is similar to a proposed plan from US President Donald Trump that would shift his country’s visa system from family-based immigration toward bringing in more skilled workers
  • The law will attempt to more closely match the skills offered by would-be immigrants with the needs of the labor market in Quebec

MONTREAL: The Quebec provincial legislature on Sunday approved a controversial immigration bill that will replace a first-come, first-served standard for accepting migrants with one tied to an applicants’ skills.
The law is similar to a proposed plan from US President Donald Trump that would shift his country’s visa system from family-based immigration toward bringing in more skilled workers.
The law will attempt to more closely match the skills offered by would-be immigrants with the needs of the labor market in Quebec, Canada’s second most-populous province.
Under the new law, some 18,000 applications now on file will be shredded, affecting as many as 50,000 people, many of whom already live in the province.
The 18,000 existing applicants will have to restart the immigration process.
The provincial government promised to expedite processing of their new applications, saying qualified workers would have answers within six months rather than the current 36 months.
The 62-to-42 vote on the bill took place around 4 am (0800 GMT) at the end of a marathon session convened by the governing center-right Coalition Avenir Quebec, immigration minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announced on Twitter.
“We are modifying the immigration system in the public interest because we have to ensure we have a system which meets the needs of the labor market,” Jolin-Barrette told the National Assembly.
All three opposition parties opposed the measure, calling it “inhuman” and saying the government did not justify dropping the 18,000 pending applications.
“Honestly, I don’t think this bill will be seen positively in history,” Liberal Party MP Dominique Anglade said, according to the Montreal Gazette. “It’s the image of Quebec which gets tarnished.”
Premier Francois Legault’s government resorted to a special parliamentary procedure to limit debate over the proposal.
His party won power in October with a promise to slash by more than 20 percent the number of immigrants and refugees arriving each year in Quebec.
The assembly reconvened on Sunday and after sometimes-acrimonious debate passed a bill banning the wearing of religious symbols by public servants including police officers, judges, lawyers, prison guards and teachers.
However the new law will only apply to new recruits, with existing employees unaffected.
The proposal, also backed by Legault, puts the premier at odds with the multiculturalism advocated by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.